If you think you ran up too much debt during the Christmas shopping season …

… wait until you read the fourth annual State Debt Report from the group State Budget Solutions.

State Budget Solutions’ (SBS) fourth annual State Debt Study reveals that state governments face a combined $5.1 trillion in debt. This total equals roughly $16,178 per capita, or 33 percent of annual gross state product. Another telling way to view the problem – state debt is equal to 469% of all fiscal year state general and other fund expenditures.

Since 2010, SBS has conducted a comprehensive examination of debt facing the 50 state governments. These reports have repeatedly found trillions in combined debt that stand in stark contrast to officials’ proclamations of balanced budgets and belt-tightening. This year’s update, and those in the past, show unfunded public pension liabilities’ incredible contribution to state debt. In fact, these liabilities make up 79 percent of all state debt.

How does North Carolina stack up, according to State Budget Solutions? Our state government’s debt is $107.5 billion. The Tar Heel State also has the third-largest outstanding unemployment insurance debt in total dollars ($1.89 billion) and on a per-capita basis ($194). Follow the link above for more information.

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